USC Upstate News

Neary Receives Award for Scholarly and Creative Pursuits

05- 12- 2010

Spartanburg, S.C. - Dr. Brigitte Neary, associate professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate received the Annual Award to Faculty for Scholarly and/or Creative Pursuits at the University’s Commencement Exercises on May 4. This award honors faculty members who have made an impact within their fields of expertise. The award was presented by Dr. Lynette M. Gibson, associate professor of nursing and chair of the Committee for Faculty Excellence.

NearyBrigitte“Dr. Neary has greatly impacted the fields of sociology, history, and applied anthropology, specifically ethnography and ethno-history, through her socio-historical-biographical research agenda,” said Gibson.

Dr. Neary’s research agenda concentrates on women and armed conflict, ethnic cleansing, and displaced persons. She specifically has called attention to the neglected history of German civilian women from East-Central Europe, who either fled the advancing Red Army front in the waning months of WW II, or were forcibly expelled from their homelands 1944-1950.   Her two books, Voices of Loss and Courage: German Women Recount their Expulsion from East Central Europe, 1944-1950 (2002), co-authored with Holle-Schneider-Ricks, and her single-authored Frauen und Vertreibung (2008) examine the personal accounts of women and young girls forced from their homelands in East and West Prussia, Königsberg, Pomerania, East Brandenburg, Silesia, Sudetenland, the Hungarian plains, and the Balkan mountains of Yugoslavia and Romania.

Through her research for these two books, Dr. Neary has established herself as an expert in the area of cultural orphans and ethnic resurgence, according to Gibson.  

“Her research is critical for solving the problems of forced migration and appreciating the current traumas of women in other parts of the world such as the Congo and Darfur, and her scholarship raises important issues, suggesting that a future is possible in which all peoples enjoy basic rights,” said Gibson. 

As a testament to the international impact of her work, Dr. Neary received the Human Rights Award of the Ethnic German Danube Suevians, on December 12, 2009 in Stuttgart, Germany for increasing awareness of human fights and the right of all victims to be recognized for their status.  In addition, on motion of Senator Glenn Reese, the South Carolina Senate paid tribute to Dr. Neary “to Honor, Recognize, Commend, and Congratulate” her for receiving this prestigious award.

Dr. Neary has also published in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences and other internationally focused publications throughout her academic career. She teaches Introduction to Sociology, Women and Armed Conflict, Displaced Persons, Sociological Theory, and Social Change at USC Upstate. For further information contact Lynette Gibson at (864) 552-4254 or lgibson@uscupstate.edu, or Brigitte Neary at (864) 503-5834 or bneary@uscupstate.edu.